The man with a vision to turn Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island into a family tourist attraction says he is ‘very happy’ with the report of a planning inspector who heard a three-day appeal into his proposal.
Pete Prosser of the Tenby Island Project had contested the decision of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to change the use of the island’s Grade II Listed fort to a visitor attraction with gift, food and drink retail, and including the installation of boat landings, solar panels, a dwelling for security staff and nature walks with illuminated pathways.
Planning inspector Robert Gardener has dismissed the appeal due to technical issues regarding bat surveys, but Mr Prosser is delighted that he has considered that all the other aspects of the proposal were acceptable.
“We are more than pleased,” he told the Western Telegraph.
“We have had a very hard run with the National Park, and they have tried to put spanners in the works every which way.
“But the inspector’s report actually exonerates the things we are working for and what he has come down on is something which is resolvable. It’s fantastic news for us.”
“We will be talking to Natural Resources Wales about a further bat survey and then when that is complete, we will submit the full application again.
“The worry is that there actually don’t seem to be any bats in the fort - it is rather a wet and windy place and not the sort of environment they like.”
Mr Prosser opened the island up to the public last November and will continue to do so year-round when tides permit.
A spokesman for the National Park said: “The authority has already been in contact with the applicant to begin discussions with regards to a new application.
“We look forward to working towards a successful conclusion, which will hopefully result in a visitor attraction that will be of benefit to Tenby and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park as a whole.”